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e-book: Afterlife


 

War Letters From The Living Dead Man


Introduction

LETTER

 I.

The Return of "X"
II. A Dweller on the Threshold
III. An Assurance
IV. The Way of Understanding
V. Astral Monsters
VI. The Archduke
VII. The "Chosen People"
VIII. Spectres of the Congo
IX. Unseen Guardians
X. One Day as a Thousand Years
XI. Many Tongues
XII. The Beautiful Being
XIII. The Body of Humanity
XIV. The Foeman Within
XV. Listening in Brussels
XVI. The Sixth Race
XVII. An American on Guard
XVIII. A Master of Compassion
XIX. The Rose-Veiled Stranger
XX. Above the Battlefields
XXI. A Soul in Purgatory
XXII. Peace Propaganda
XXIII. The Mystery of Desire
XXIV. The Scales of Justice
XXV. For Love's Sake
XXVI. A Master of Mind
XXVII. Invisible Enemies
XXVIII. The Glory of War
XXIX. A Friend of "X"
XXX. The Rose and the Cross
XXXI. A Serbian Magician
XXXII. Judas and Typhon
XXXIII. Crowns of Straw
XXXIV. The Sylph and the Father
XXXV. Behind the Dark Veil
XXXVI. The "Lusitania"
XXXVII. Veiled Prophecies
XXXVIII. Advice to a Scribe
XXXIX. One of These Little Ones
XL. The Height and the Depth
XLI. A Conclave of Masters
XLII. A Lesson in the Kabala
XLIII. The Second Coming
XLIV. Poison Gases
XLV. The Superman
XLVI. The Entering Wedge
XLVII. The New Brotherhood
XLVIII. In the Crucible
XLIX. Black Magic in America
L. Things to Remember


 

 

 

LETTER XXVIII

 

THE GLORY OF WAR

            I have written of the beauty of peace; but I now want to write of the glory of war, for war has its glories. Anything that arouses man to the highest pitch of enthusiasm is glorious; for what is glory but a radiation of light, a burst of that life which is the Sun in man?
            I regret this war. The suffering, the agony, the torment that I have seen and have felt through sympathy, have left their marks upon me; but had I remained in the safety of the neutral stars I should have missed the glory of the fight.
            Man had grown too tame, without acquiring the virtues of tameness; but this war has served the purpose of the gods by hurling man into the primitive, the savage, where life had its roots, but from which the sap flows that will blossom later in such a faith as the world has never seen.

            Suffering and joy are forever opposite and equal. Man may rest for a time in the neutral condition of a well-fed half-consciousness; but when the extremes of suffering and joy come to him, he is no longer half-conscious, but awake and alive, and glory shines round him.
            Could the Masters have prevented this war? They could have retarded it; but the causes were present in the hearts of men, in the invisible forces within them as well as outside them, and to have further delayed the explosion would have served no planetary purpose.
            The men who are not dead are more alive than they were twelve months ago, and even the so-called dead are living-dead.
            We pushed back the forces of evil, yes; but that was a part of the struggle, that was the struggle in our world.
            Let me tell you the story of one man whom I knew in the days of peace. He was well-fed and half-asleep with prosperity, he prattled mild commonplaces about life, and ethics, and the duties of a citizen; but what did he really know of life, or of ethics, or of the duties of a citizen?

            We will call him Johnson. He has been in this war some months, a fighter for England, and the integrity of England; and now when he speaks of life his speech has meaning, because life to him now is the opposite and mate of death. He feels enthusiasm for it, the glory of it shines round him.
            Johnson had a son, an only child. Fathers will know what I mean.
            In the great retreat in which Johnson was one of the leaders his son fell before his eyes—wounded but not dead. For one swift heartbeat the father turned to his boy . . . then he went on with his command that otherwise would have been leaderless, leaving his only child to the tender mercies of an army drunk with the pitiless glory of conquerors.
            Johnson will never again prattle commonplaces about life. He has learned the meaning of death, and of tortured uncertainty far worse than death.

            April 20.

            (This letter was left unfinished—for no reason apparent to me.—Editor.)

Letter XXIX

LETTER XXVII